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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 15 April 2021

The42's first book Behind The Lines is full of great Irish sports stories... and out now

If you like sportswriting, you’ll love this.


THE FAMOUS New York newspaperman Jimmy Breslin was said to mark out his life in bad Kentucky Derby bets.

Many of us who gather in this corner of the internet each day will know what he meant.

Packie Bonner saving a penalty is associated with a family wedding. The smell of a wet Mikasa and you’re reminded of a goal scored on a childhood birthday.

Sporting events mark out our lives.

And this year will live long in our memories.

  • Galway and Waterford duelled at the end of an incredible summer of hurling.
  • Conor McGregor climbed into a Las Vegas ring with Floyd Mayweather.
  • Irish football took centre-stage and the rugby world pulled up outside for a women’s World Cup party.

The42 — and its community of hugely engaged readers — was there for it all.

We’re a constantly-operating machine that documents these events in real time with constant feedback from Irish sports fans.

Often your feedback below the line suggests we’re completely wrong and/or don’t know what we’re doing… and another thing, the place is gone to shite since we changed the name.

But more often it’s constructive, interesting and we often act on it:


Behind The Lines is our collection of some of our favourite stories from our award-winning staff of journalists from 2017. Some of you have suggested it often, and now’s your chance to get your hands on it.

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The book is available — for just €10! — in our online store and in Easons.

Our team of writers chronicled the news-alert events throughout the year but more importantly, I think, found the off-Broadway stories populated with really interesting characters and themes that tell us a lot about our country.

It will, we think, feel at home on the bookshelf of any Irish sports fan.

One of the most celebrated columns from Jimmy Breslin — who started his long career as a journalist covering basketball and football games — was penned when he peeled away from the fray in Washington DC on the day of John F Kennedy’s funeral to, instead, talk to the men digging the president’s grave at Arlington cemetery.

Breslin later explained he merely applied a sportswriter’s logic to covering news.

“Avoid the scrum of journalists gathered around the winner,” he’d advise, “and go directly to the loser’s locker.” That’s how to find your gravedigger.

We hope you’ll enjoy these great stories about the people behind the jerseys by our team of writers as much as we enjoyed putting them together throughout the year.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):


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